Notation Express for Dorico 4 information

Thank you for using Notation Express or Notation Express XL for Dorico!

You may have seen the exciting news that Dorico 4 was released recently. If you haven’t heard about it yet, please read our extensive review on Scoring Notes.

We are committed to supporting Dorico 4 in Notation Express and Notation Express XL (NE/NEXL). Here’s what that will look like.

Using Notation Express/Notation Express XL for Dorico 3.5 in Dorico 4

First of all, if you’re currently using NE/NEXL in Dorico 3.5, and you update to Dorico 4, you can go right on using NE/NEXL. Assuming you’ve already installed NE/NEXL, when you install Dorico 4, the Dorico installer will copy over the custom key command profile from Dorico 3.5, and everything should work just as it did before.

If you purchased NE/NEXL after you installed Dorico 4, and never installed it for Dorico 3.5, then you will need to run the NE/NEXL installer, and then copy the custom key command profile manually.

The file is called keycommands_en.json and is located here:

~/Library/Application Support/Steinberg/Dorico 3.5

C:\Users\[your username]\AppData\Roaming\Steinberg\Dorico 3.5

Copy the keycommands_en.json file into this folder, which will appear after you install Dorico 4:

~/Library/Application Support/Steinberg/Dorico 4

C:\Users\[your username]\AppData\Roaming\Steinberg\Dorico 4

Again: If you updated from Dorico 3.5 to Dorico 4, and already had installed NE/NEXL, you do not need to perform the above step, as the Dorico 4 installer automatically does this for you.

If you want Stream Deck to automatically switch to the NE/NEXL profile when you have Dorico 4 in the foreground, please update your settings in Stream Deck’s Preferences, and choose Dorico 4 (the one with the orange icon):

Stream Deck/Stream Deck Mobile


Stream Deck XL

Our update plans

We plan on releasing an update to NE/NEXL by the end of January 2022 specifically for Dorico 4, and will no longer be updating NE/NEXL for 3.5.

The first update will take advantage of Dorico’s ability to receive commands directly from Stream Deck, instead of relying upon a custom key command profile as the intermediary.

What does this mean?

You may notice that NE/NEXL installs a custom key command profile, as described above. In Dorico 4 we expect that it will no longer be necessary to rely on these commands, and are rebuilding the entire NE/NEXL Stream Deck profiles from scratch to support this new ability.

This is taking a little time, but it will be worth it, because:

  • Reclaim your shortcuts – You will be able to reclaim all of the keyboard shortcuts for your own use, as you like, without them being reserved by NE/NEXL
  • Cross-platform support – We expect that the NE/XL profile will work the same on Mac and Windows, so you can use the same profile on both OSs
  • Multi-language support – We expect that the NE/XL profile will be supported in all languages, so you don’t need to switch to English to use it in Dorico (the icons will still only be in English, for now)
  • Faster – We expect that the direct connection to Dorico will make NE/NEXL more responsive

We are still working on this and testing, so while these plans could change, we are pleased with the results so far, and are working hard to bring this to you.

Further steps

Before we start adding support for the new features in Dorico 4, we want to make sure that the existing commands work as expected using this new protocol. Therefore, the first release of NE/NEXL for Dorico 4 will basically support the same features as NE/NEXL for Dorico 3.5.

Then, in a future update(s), we will introduce support for additional features exclusive to Dorico 4.

Update path

Because of the amount of work involved in transitioning to this new protocol, and the benefits it will bring for the future, NE/NEXL for Dorico 4 will be a paid update for existing users, as follows:

  • Notation Express: $9.99
  • Notation Express XL: $13.99

If you purchased the NE/NEXL bundle, you will be eligible for the same update pricing as above; there is no further discount, but you are not obligated to purchase both updated products (you may update separately if you like).

Although we are not directly affiliated with Steinberg, we have decided to follow their example, so that anyone who purchased NE/NEXL for Dorico on or after August 25, 2021 will receive a free update to NE/NEXL for Dorico 4.

Should you update?

As stated above, if you are happy with NE/NEXL for Dorico 3.5, you can go right on using it in Dorico 4. You are welcome to purchase the NE/NEXL update when we release it to take advantage of the new functionality, or wait until we add more features.

If you think you will benefit from the new functionality, such as the ability to use your own custom shortcuts, cross-platform support, and multi-language support, you can purchase the update when it comes out.

When we add more features for NE/NEXL for Dorico 4, the update(s) will be free to users who have purchased the NE/NEXL for Dorico 4 update.

We appreciate your patience and support. Thank you again for using Notation Express!